The Bible gives great insight into the role of women. Biblical women were entrepreneurs, judges, homemakers, and Bible teachers to list only a few. Thus the Christian woman is called to live her life in terms of the great potential for the development and use of her abilities.
Christian women are compassionate with godly wisdom. They choose to act, to be voices proclaiming a better way, to be hands making a tangible difference, to work toward spiritually strengthening people already in the membership as well as the non-members in the community. Christian women are committed to changing the world through prayer and sharing their faith in the Lord.
As our model, Jesus ministered to women (Mark 7; Luke 7, 8, and 13) restoring their self-worth and value as human beings. The increasingly complex needs of women within North American society and the church make women’s ministries a key priority in the church. “They (women) can do a work that men cannot do. They can come close to the hearts of those whom men cannot reach. The labor is needed” (Evangelism, page 465). “Why may they (women) not understand their own powers, and realizing that these powers are given of God, strive to make use of them to the fullest extent in doing good to others, in advancing the work of reformation, of truth, and of real goodness in the world” (Welfare Ministries, page 161). “Let woman realize the sacredness of her work and in the strength and fear of God, take up her mission” (Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 3, page 564).
Women today are commissioned to use the talents and opportunities God has given them to fulfill His eternal plan. The responsibility of sharing the Good News is the burden of all who call themselves Christians. If the church were not to fully utilize women’s gifts the church body would be denied the internal freedom under which it flourishes best. It would be denied the benefit of the spiritual and intellectual gifts of over half of its membership. Women would experience loss and those to whom she might minister also would lose the needed help. Women’s ministries involves encouraging women to discover and use their gifts.
Women’s needs and concerns include (but are not limited to) women living balanced lifestyles, considering responsibilities within the multiple roles of home, work, husband’s work, children, church, and society; women and finances; women and self-esteem; women and decision-making; conflict resolution, and time-management.
Duties of the Women’s Ministries Coordinator and Committee:
The major tasks include the following:
- Leader. She chairs the Women’s Ministries committee. This responsibility is essential to the success of women’s ministries. The chair functions as a facilitator, encouraging the evolution of ideas and plans that produce efforts toward maximizing our church’s mission. The chair assembles the agenda, moderates discussion, and encourages group cohesion through personal sharing, prayer and fellowship.
- Committee. The committee’s purpose is to brainstorm, develop strategies, network, and assist in planning and implementing programs and activities relevant to women’s specific and varied needs. They will periodically survey and identify the needs of the women within the church and community, including spiritual growth needs and training in the promotion of outreach. Identify the demographics of the female population such as age, ethnicity, educational level, marital status, etc., and identify topics specific to their needs. Special needs may include support groups for abused women, senior citizens, single-parents, teens, substance abuse, empty-nest syndrome, and child abuse, seminars on stress management, grief recovery, parenting skills, self-improvement, spiritual care, etc. Other activities may include prayer breakfasts, literacy program, day care, and programs for the community elderly.
- Conference. Coordinator interacts with the Indiana Conference and NAD Women’s Ministries departments. This includes filing regular statistical reports and calendar items and participation in conference women’s ministries training events.
- Special Sabbath. Women’s Ministry Coordinator will plan a Women’s Ministry worship service once per year which especially addresses the needs of women. This will need to be coordinated with the pastor several months in advance.
The following resources are recommended for your ministry. You can purchase these by calling AdventSource (800-328-0525), the Adventist Book Center (800-765-6955) or your local Christian bookstore.
- Expect Great Things: How to Be a Happy, Growing Christian, by Richard O’Ffill. A template for successful Christian living, with the goal of being like Jesus.
- Strengthen Your Church Through Women’s Ministries, by Tamyra Horst. How Women’s Ministries can make a difference in your church.
- Women’s Ministries Handbook, by North American Division Women’s Ministries Department. The complete guide to starting and supporting a ministry for and by women at the local church.
- Women of Spirit Magazine. Stories, ideas and reports of what women are doing in their church and community.
- Visit AdventSource On-Line at www.adventsource.org/women for a complete list of the latest resources available for local church leaders. You can place an order or request a catalog by calling 1-800-328-0525.
- For information about additional resources and answers to your questions call the Adventist Plusline at 1-800-732-7587 or visit them on-line at www.plusline.org.